Mayor Jackie Biskupski has been selected as Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Alliance for a Sustainable Future starting at the national gathering of mayors this weekend, June 7th– 10thin Boston. Mayor Biskupski has held the position of Vice-Chair since fall of 2016 when the Alliance was created.
In 2016, The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions formed the Alliance for a Sustainable Future to provide a platform for the public and private sectors to advance carbon reduction programs and sustainable development. The Alliance has worked to establish a system for collecting data on what cities are doing in the arenas of low-carbon energy, alternative-fuel vehicles, and energy efficiency in buildings. This information has been used by cities and businesses as they develop and implement their own sustainability programs.
“Mayor Biskupski has demonstrated both leadership and action in cities’ collaborative efforts to become more sustainable and environmentally conscious,” said Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin, who is currently serving as President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “I look forward to observing the work she does as chair of the Alliance.”
“Salt Lake City has been at the forefront of national action when it comes to clean energy, sustainability, and efficiency,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski on the announcement. “Cities around the nation have looked to our aggressive clean energy plans and how collaboration with business and our energy provider is making our goals a reality.”
Salt Lake City’s Climate Positive Plan, adopted through a joint resolution between Mayor Biskupski and the City Council, calls for Salt Lake City to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2032, with an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. In 2016, Mayor Biskupski brokered a five-year franchise agreement between the City and Rocky Mountain Power which acknowledged the City’s goals. In May, with support from Salt Lake City, Rocky Mountain Power announced a bid process for new alternative energy projects, which if complete would ensure Salt Lake City meets the goal of having 50% of municipal operations powered by clean energy by 2020.
“We congratulate Mayor Biskupski on her appointment as Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Alliance for a Sustainable Future,” said Cindy Crane, President and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power. “Rocky Mountain Power and Salt Lake City enjoy an exciting partnership developing innovative energy services that will help the city meet its goals for increasing the use of renewable energy sources as the community continues to grow.”
Mayor Biskupski is also currently serving as Co-Chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy. In 2017, Mayor Biskupski led a resolution at the Conference of Mayors meeting in Miami, calling on cities to support efforts to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy sources by 2035. The resolution received support from more than 250 cities.
“Mayor Biskupski is a true champion for 100% clean, renewable energy. Her bold leadership to set Salt Lake City on course to be powered entirely with clean energy by 2032 is inspiring communities across the country,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Burne. “As a co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative, Mayor Biskupski played a leading role in the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopting a landmark resolution supporting the switch to 100% clean energy in cities nationwide. The Sierra Club congratulates Mayor Biskupski on this well-deserved appointment.”
While in Boston Mayor Biskupski will participate in a Climate Summit hosted by Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston. Mayor Biskupski will also submit a resolution in support of climate resiliency and to urge the U.S. Conference of Mayors to formally oppose the Trump Administration’s effort to mandate required grid purchases of electricity generated by carbon-based fuels.
“I am honored to represent the values of the residents of Salt Lake City as Chair of the Alliance,” added Mayor Biskupski. “When Salt Lake City pledged to move toward 100% clean energy city, we were only the 16th city in the nation to do so, and now there are nearly 200, including 3 more in Utah. With a lack of interest in climate change and clean energy policy at the national level, cities are picking up the slack, and saying with words and deeds: ‘we are still in.’”
The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,408 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. During the Conference’s Annual Meeting in June, standing committees recommend policy positions they believe should be adopted by the organization. At this time, every member attending the annual meeting is given the opportunity to discuss and then vote on each policy resolution. The policy positions adopted at the annual meeting collectively represent the views of the nation’s mayors and are distributed to the President of the United States and Congress.